Ciamillo Brakes - Warning!

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.

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eurostar
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by eurostar

I reckon Ted is a decent guy with a good heart. As a small player he's bound to have production challenges with such a light carbon fibre product. And we all know that some of the issues will be caused by customers who don't RTFM or overestimate their workshop skills or break something and lie about it. They always are - ask any bike shop mechanic. If I'd bought faulty stuff from him I'd just give him a call or email him and be FRIENDLY. Bitching about him on a forum which he doesn't visit is not constructive.

But I haven't actually ordered the Lekki8, so if Ted has truly, honestly let you down, I sympathise.

And the aliexpress price has dropped again. 145 quid. Almost at the Risk It for a Biscuit level. Who's going first?

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bratz
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by bratz


eurostar wrote:
And the aliexpress price has dropped again. 145 quid. Almost at the Risk It for a Biscuit level. Who's going first?
I did try Image

From Seller : Dear friend, because the system has detected that your order is in an abnormal state, this transaction has been suspended and we cannot send the goods. Please cancel this order, we will refund you immediately.(8137507553421369)

Have cancelled and refund process ongoing. Was told not to re-order yet as Seller could not deliver product.

Will try again once refund is received. Not worried though as had a couple of aliexpress refund before.

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ms6073
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by ms6073

eurostar wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 3:03 pm
As a small player he's bound to have production challenges with such a light carbon fibre product.
If I'd bought faulty stuff from him I'd just give him a call or email him and be FRIENDLY. Bitching about him on a forum which he doesn't visit is not constructive.
How can you have joined the same year I did yet make that kind of statement? We can certainly understand supply chain issues in the days of the pandemic, and most companies are forthright and readily disclose that they are facing issues that will effect the customers. This is not the first time Ciamillo has faced issues, as he has a near 15-year history of problematic, and in some case fraudulent business practices, but what separates him from the others is that rather than come out and disclose there are issues and are going to be delays, he either offers false hoods, or more often than not simply stops replying to emails and answering phone calls!
- Michael
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Butcher
Shop Owner
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by Butcher

Bernie was a nice guy too and had no issue of fleecing you.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Madoff

eurostar
Posts: 414
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 7:19 pm
Location: London

by eurostar

ms6073 wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 3:45 pm
eurostar wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 3:03 pm
As a small player he's bound to have production challenges with such a light carbon fibre product.
If I'd bought faulty stuff from him I'd just give him a call or email him and be FRIENDLY. Bitching about him on a forum which he doesn't visit is not constructive.
How can you have joined the same year I did yet make that kind of statement? We can certainly understand supply chain issues in the days of the pandemic, and most companies are forthright and readily disclose that they are facing issues that will effect the customers. This is not the first time Ciamillo has faced issues, as he has a near 15-year history of problematic, and in some case fraudulent business practices, but what separates him from the others is that rather than come out and disclose there are issues and are going to be delays, he either offers false hoods, or more often than not simply stops replying to emails and answering phone calls!
I'm not talking about logistics, I'm talking about manufacturing quality. Consistent, good quality with skinny little highly stressed bits of carbon. Obviously that's not been happening, because some Lekki8 arms have snapped. Because of the failures, he will have tried different suppliers, different manufacturing techniques and different testing. That causes months of gaps in production, batches being thrown out and disputes with suppliers. The suppliers will be blaming the design, so he might also have gone back to the drawing board to refine it. It's a complete nightmare for a small entrepreneur. Imagine the cash flow problems. And that's before you even talk about frustrated customers and delayed warranty replacements.

No one else has made caliper arms out of thin carbon plates. Maybe it's just a terrible idea? Or maybe you shouldn't even attempt it unless you're in the exotic German carbon subculture with lots of superb suppliers, genius engineers like the guy who made the first Lightweights in his garage, German QC standards and prices twice as high, e.g. THM Fibula. When I look at the $1500 Fibulas next to the $700 Lekkis, my first thought is, how can the Lekkis be feasible with such thin carbon plates, and at this price, and with the carbon coming from China/Taiwan? It's such an ambitious project that you should probably just leave it to the Germans, or maybe to the F1 subcontractors in the UK. And I bet the Alibaba/Aliexpress product is made by Ted's former supplier, who he's in dispute with. There's no reason for the Chinese to clone an obscure product with such tiny sales.

I think Ted may be attempting the impossible. It's idiotic to label him a fraudster - there are a million easier ways to defraud people than to spend 20 years making bicycle brakes! The people who dismiss him as a con man are just ignorant of human nature and have never tried to run their own business. Ted is motivated to make the best brakes, but he's come unstuck. He's promised more than he can deliver, but he probably feels that his suppliers have done far worse. He's trying to save the situation. He hasn't given up. He may yet succeed. My hunch is that the engineering principles are sound, and that if the carbon parts were made by Schmolke or THM etc., everything would be great, but the price would be double. If Ted can eventually bring it off at his price, it will be heroic!

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dj97223
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by dj97223

eurostar wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 6:12 pm
If Ted can eventually bring it off at his price, it will be heroic!
I might have to make this my new signature line. Right after, "Bridge for sale!"

Seriously, eurostar, I applaud your trust in human nature, but Ted has shown his true colors. He either intends to defraud his customers or he just can't help himself.
“If you save your breath I feel a man like you can manage it. And if you don't manage it, you'll die. Only slowly, very slowly, old friend.”

eurostar
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by eurostar

Have you read his site?

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ms6073
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by ms6073

eurostar wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 9:03 pm
Have you read his site?
There was a time when I felt similar about Ciamillo and gave him the benefit of the doubt of just being caught up in the circumstances. Now although I have no 'irons in this fire' having never ordered any of his products, my perceptions changed completely during after the original Zero G days when he continued to take orders, knowing full well he had no capacity to deliver. Here we are more than 15+ years later and once again, he appears to be in dire straights, yet for the casual consumer, there is no mention as such on the Lekki8 shopping protal, much less anything to indicate that he is having issues with delivery:
Free Shipping Worldwide! - NOW SHIPPING FROM THE USA
Thank you for your interest in Ciamillo road brakes.. the lightest, most compact road calipers on the market. If you have any questions, I am available directly at the email and phone below. I am also available for support during setup and video support via WhatsApp and Google Hangouts to make sure you get the most optimized performance from your Lekki8s. All my brakes come with a two year warranty. I provide free shipping via First Class Mail which delivers in 3 to 5 days to the USA and 10 to 20 days internationally. If you need them quicker you can upgrade the shipping to Express Mail which is 1 to 2 days to the USA and 3 to 5 days internationally by purchasing this option below. Please note that due to our worldwide free shipping, there will be a restocking fee assessed on returned orders in the amount of 10% of the order or $30.00 - whichever is greater.
That said, I see no reason why consumers should be disuaded from purchasing in stock brakes from one of his retailers, but as far as ordering online direct from Ciamillo, nope!

Image
- Michael
"Solving problems you didn't know you had in ways you probably won't understand"

mag
Posts: 567
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by mag

As it's been mentioned by several his customers in this and other threads - he keeps lying about shipping the goods, making various excuses, not responding at all etc. He does really deserve all the heat he's getting here and there... People should just stop purchasing anything from him.

eurostar
Posts: 414
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Location: London

by eurostar

He wants to make the best brakes. He doesn't want to be a fraud. That's obvious. He's in a hole, he's still digging. He has to do all the customer contact himself. There's no money for refunds. What can he do, but keep trying? What would you do? There may be no options except to keep digging or declare bankruptcy and work at McDonalds. It's a real Iife soap opera. I wonder how many of his critics have read this?
The Rise

I began designing brakes for road bikes in 2002. My first model, the ZeroG's, were developed in a single-car-garage of a rental house on a used CNC mill with a manual tool-changer. The prototype was photographed on a scale at Interbike that same year and created interest based on the considerable reduction in weight over other calipers on the market. I made it my focus to have not only the lightest but the most well built, machined road calipers in the world. The next 5 years saw incredible growth in sales during which time I acquired a house, three daughters, built a shop, and filled it full of employees and new CNC equipment. Every year after 2002 saw a massive increase in sales and production capability until 2008.

​The Fall

In 2008, my grandfather died and kicked off what would become a downward spiral for me. The recession caused great hardship and for the first time in six years I was seeing a massive decrease in sales. The hardship for me was compounded because it came at a time when I was expanding rapidly to meet recent high demand. I had taken out loans for equipment, building a new facility, land, a house, etc. I basically grew too fast and on credit. The bank loved me because they saw what I saw... growth for six years with no end in sight. And they were more than happy to give me loans for the business to meet the ever increasing demand ... again, until 2008. Thinking that the lull in sales was temporary, I held onto employees and equipment with white knuckles. By 2012 I had lost the fight completely in trying to keep the employees. I had a back order of product and was operating a million dollar manufacturing facility single-handedly. This meant making all the parts daily, anodizing daily, and pad-printing, assembly, and packaging daily by myself. Needless to say this was not ideal and manifested in long lead times which resulted in cancelled orders, refunds, and some angry customers. The next 5 years were a struggle to bring things back to the pre-recession state. I lost this fight as well. I lost everything - the house, the machines, and finally the shop.

The Rebirth

With capital from the sale of the equipment, I made a radical change and switched my focus to design of a new super-light caliper which is a culmination of almost two decades of brakesmithing. I moved to Poland to my new wife and switched my business model to take advantage of the lower cost of living and more manageable size. The cost of living, along with outsourcing some of the work such as anodizing, increased the attention available for customer service and perfection in assembly. And has made this move one of the best decisions of my life.

shotgun1
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by shotgun1

I've had issues with Ted in the past, and his partner-distributors came to the rescue. He's been pushing the envelope for many years, and I still respect that. However, he really needs to seek help in managing his supply, manufacturing, QC, and logistics - so he can focus on what he does best.
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Butcher
Shop Owner
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by Butcher

I do run a small business and I have never ever stole money from my clients. 10 years and successful. I tell them the truth. If I say it's in the mail, it is. If I say its fixed, it is. I answer my emails and text messages. I fire clients when I feel I'm being cheated. If I'm wrong, I do my best to make it right.

If half the stuff Ted has does is true, he is a fraud. Why he insists to tell people lies and not return their money is beyond me. I get if you have no money to refund. The client needs to know that. Give them an answer. To tell someone some BS is not right and there is no way to sugar coat it. Why people feel he is not stealing from people does not know the definition of stealing.

I would not and I cannot understand why anyone would give him money.

eurostar
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Location: London

by eurostar

Taking money when you have nothing to ship could mean the end is nigh. Having your Chinese supplier selling your product to the world is a very bad sign.

F10
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by F10

eurostar wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:57 pm
Taking money when you have nothing to ship could mean the end is nigh. Having your Chinese supplier selling your product to the world is a very bad sign.
This.

He pre-ordered and can't pay, so they liquidate on aliexpress?

by Weenie


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eurostar
Posts: 414
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 7:19 pm
Location: London

by eurostar

That seems one plausible scenario. Or he's switched suppliers and not paid his former supplier? And he's taking orders so he can raise money to get his new supplier to send an improved version of the product?

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